Nebraskans who buy individual health insurance plans in the federal Affordable Care Act market will see a household name when they look at the listings for 2023 on the federal HealthCare.gov website.
After leaving the healthcare exchange in 2017,
“We are delighted to be able to return,” said
For 2022, Nebraskans could choose from market plans offered by four insurers:
That’s a change from 2018 and 2019, when Medica was the only insurer to offer plans on the exchange. The state started with four insurers offering plans when the exchange launched in 2014.
The full list of individual and small group plans that will be available on the exchange in 2023 is not yet available. The
Medica will participate in the exchange by
In the first three years, insurers had to be paid based on three factors, Rowe said. During the second year, the federal government decided not to pay the second factor, which caused difficulties for all the insurers and a lawsuit which was finally settled by the
Moreover, the penalties for not having insurance to begin with were supposed to be large enough to encourage healthy young people to participate in the market. But the penalties weren’t as substantial as expected and at one point weren’t enforced, Rowe said. Fewer young, healthy people participated than insurers had hoped, leaving older, sicker people who need more health care to make up the pools.
Political and regulatory uncertainty, with changing rules, has also made it difficult to plan or manage the business, he said. The company decided to exit the market to ensure that the losses do not spread and to force employers or Medicare members to subsidize the market pool.
Most of those concerns have now been resolved, he said, and the government has standardized the plans.
“Now the market is stable, so it’s time for us to come back,” Rowe said.
Consumers, healthcare providers and insurance brokers have also urged the company to re-enter the market, he said. About 60% of Nebraskanians who have ACA plans enroll through an independent insurance broker or agent. Nearly 1,000 brokers will be authorized to offer the gold, silver and bronze plans, and
Nebraska HeartlandBlue will be available in the 93
Rowe said he could not discuss the rates because the proposed figures have not yet been approved by the
“We think we’re going to be very competitive,” he said.
According to a non-partisan analysis
Rowe said the listing on the market in
However, the amount that individual consumers pay also depends on the subsidies and tax credits to which they are entitled. With the economy as it is, he said, some people may qualify for larger subsidies.
The U.S. Bailout, a pandemic relief program, has expanded the tax credits available to people who buy plans on the stock exchange. Additional grants are due to expire at the end of 2022, but
Medicaid eligibility has also expanded during the pandemic. This will end when the federal government ends the public health emergency. Rowe said
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said of the insurer’s return to the market, “and we’re excited about it.”
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